Back in the 90s, children’s demands were basic and games were mild and unaggressive.
February 08, 2019 —
I remember the time when children were engrossed in board games, casual games, card games and outdoor games for fun. Then came the era of video games – 99 in 1, 999 in 1, 9999 in 1, we all have been victims of these tempting numbers. Super Mario, Contra, Pacman, Duck Hunt, etc were every child’s favourite games in the video game set. Back in the 90s, children’s demands were basic and games were mild and unaggressive.
However, a few years down the line, I heard of many friends who became so addicted to these video games that they bunked schools and colleges to play video games at some friend’s place or the internet cafe. When their parents came to know about this, they tried strictness, begging mercy, hopeless lectures and everything they could to persuade their children. Fortunately, many careers were saved from getting down the drain of this subtle addiction to excessive gaming.
Today, not only kids but teens and adults are becoming gaming addicts to the extent that they need medical help after some time due to not eating properly, nervous breakdowns due to prolonged gaming, etc. Also, today’s online games are more of a violent and aggressive nature. They have a substantial impact on a person’s psychology such as getting violent, thinking it’s okay to replicate the acts from the game in real life and being unable to process any triggering situations, etc. Some of these addicting online games are Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Counter-Strike, Fruit Ninja, Real Cricket, Skate Lander, Subway Surfers, Teen Patti, Temple Run, etc. But the likes of PUBG and other violent games have taken the menace to the next level. This is becoming a cause of concern for everyone now.
Driving Children To The Level Of Aggressive Addiction
Children and teens can get addicted to online games so easily because video games are not only entertaining but also accepting. These online games don’t tell you to study/work, have a career and a life of your own. They are happy to keep you engrossed in them. Our present social scenario lacks such social acceptance towards everyone. These days we find groups everywhere – school, college, parties, etc. So, apart from being a source of enjoyment, these games are becoming people’s go-to places for solace and acceptance.
According to the WHO, Gaming addiction is actually a mental disorder. It can be recognised by noticing the person imitating gaming behaviour in their real life as well. Some psychologists have shared the recognisable signs of this disorder. They are as below-
- Playing nonstop for prolonged periods of time.
- Declining Social Invitations to play the game
- Disturbed personal and professional relationships
- Sleep difficulties or significant change in sleep patterns
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Change in eating habits such as not eating till extreme hunger
- Headaches, Dry Eyes, Sore Fingers and back
- Unusual weight gain or loss
- Decreased academic and work performance
- Less concentration in homework and studying
- Frequently playing the game and not able to stay away from it
Factors that push you to try a new game-
There seems to be a driving force behind this gaming enthusiasm – Peer pressure. We found out some major reasons why people try a new game:
- Recommendation By Friends: We all know that one person in the gang who makes his friends play a game just because it’s a multiplayer game and he/she needs someone in his/her team. As simple as it may sound, many people take up a new online game on the recommendation of their friends.
- The Internet: Many of us have fallen in love with exciting graphics, screenshots and videos of attractive games over the internet. They may be of different genres, targetting diverse age groups and mental activity. The internet is undeniably a dominant source of such information.
- Social Conversations: We all have different social circles – at school, college, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. Who doesn’t take the advice of a good friend seriously? Many people have admitted to playing new games just because of the social buzz about it.
- Engaging advertisements: Here is when marketing comes in. Many mobile game videos are played in paid ads in other mobile game applications. Some of these apps give you rewards such as an extra life or stars/hearts/coins as per the requirement of the online game for watching the complete advertisement. Believe me when I say, after watching the video of a game for over 10-15 times, you seem to be getting closer to playing it.
- Fascinating Graphics: You must be lying as an online gamer if you say that brilliant user interfaces and captivating graphics don’t tempt you to try a new online game. Many users say that many times, they download some games but delete it soon due to poor graphics or user interface.
When you see a kid of around 10 years of age with their own smartphone, the first thought is – WHY?
The next thought is when did the world around us and the society, on the whole, become so uninteresting and unaccepting that kids need to build up their own world in their smartphones. Also, one ponders on how do you control what comes in front of your kid on the smartphone. How do you plan to give them a tool to play without understanding the merits and demerits of doing that?
Let me tell you that your kid is now much more vulnerable to all demerits of untimely socialisation. He/she stands exposed to the predators and negative influencers over the internet that need more victims than they have today. So, the next time you plan to give your kid of around 10-12 years of age an iPhone or a smartwatch, you are giving them something that is of little or no importance to them at this stage. However, you are pushing the pace of development for them which will one day or the other, make you repent your decision.
In the case of adults, they feel they can take control of themselves as they are mature enough. But yeah, when hell breaks loose, you need your parents to take you out of your room to the doctor. Remember that howsoever interesting the digital worth of excessive gaming may seem to you, you have a life out of it as well. The richness of life can’t be overlooked just because of some High Definition(HD) and High Quality (HQ) gaming systems.
I request everyone reading this to look at all their life realistically. It is important to follow your heart and passion but make sure you don’t pay the cost of it with your health or life.
Look Ahead, Real Life Awaits You!